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  • Vice President, Philanthropy

    • Employer: Defenders of Wildlife
      Location: Washington, DC
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes



    JOB TITLE:   Vice President of Philanthropy


    SALARY: Up to $200,000

    FLSA:  Exempt

    DIVISION/SITE:  Headquarters, Washington DC

    DEPARTMENT:  Development

    REPORTS TO:  President and CEO

    LAST REVISED:  March 2020

    Basic Summary:

    The Vice President of Philanthropy is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the Development department, cultivating revenue streams and developing avenues for fundraising while furthering Defenders of Wildlife’s mission. S/he will set and meet annual restricted and unrestricted revenue goals through planned giving, foundation support, special events and mid-level and major donor giving, while leading a team of fundraising professionals. In addition, s/he works with the President and CEO and other senior leadership on strategizing on major fundraising campaigns and targeted initiatives. S/he engages with the Board of Directors on Development fundraising and actively participates as a member of the Leadership Team at Defenders.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    Formulates short and long-term fundraising goals for Defenders of Wildlife in support of the organization’s mission and strategic plan.

    Develops actionable strategies for meeting and exceeding those goals through foundation grants, major gifts, planned giving support and fundraising campaigns and events.

    Structures and leads the development team to best approach a variety of development goals. Oversees the preparation and implementation by direct reports of work plans, timelines and actions to meet annual revenue goals.

    Develops and implements annual fundraising plan and budget in consultation with the President and CEO. Establishes benchmarks and evaluates progress against past-year performance and budget goals on a quarterly basis. Through regular contact with the Finance department, monitors contributions by source against projections and provides the President and CEO with trend analyses and recommendations.

    Oversees the preparation and implementation of cultivation and solicitation strategies for individual and foundation donors. Cultivates and solicits gifts independently or with the President and CEO, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, Development relationship managers, program staff and members of the Board. Reviews and approves solicitations, proposals and other communications prepared for donors to ensure quality and accuracy. Is personally responsible for the cultivation and solicitation of a portfolio of donors.

    Works with the Director of Foundations, senior management and conservation program staff to raise restricted funds for priority programs. Work with conservation program and finance staff to ensure that grants are properly allocated and spent.

    Works with the Director of Planned Giving to develop marketing and engagement strategies for Defenders of Wildlife’s Wildlife Legacy Society.

    Raises awareness of the organization and its mission through outreach efforts and regular event and donor engagement strategies including the Yellowstone workshop, invitation-only trips, dinners and receptions.

    Pursues new revenue streams for expansion of the organization’s fundraising efforts. Tracks revenue and fundraising trends, then uses the information to predict future opportunities for expansion efforts and avoid any downtrends in individual or foundation gifts.

    Working with the President and CEO, engages Board members in supporting the financial development of the organization, organizes and manages the annual Board giving campaign, recommends potential Board members, and oversees the preparation of the department’s quarterly Board reports.

    In collaboration with the Vice President for Communications, oversees Annual Report and other donor materials production.

    In collaboration with the Vice President for Finance, ensures compliance with charitable state agency requests for annual updated organizational information.

    As part of the Leadership Team, participates in senior strategy team meetings and helps develop overall organizational priorities and direction with strategic guidance focused on funding potential.

    Recommends, reviews and approves employment actions, including interviewing, hiring, promotions and raises, in coordination with Human Resources. Partners with Human Resources in the handling of disciplinary issues.

    Ensures communication of duties and responsibilities to direct reports and monitors performance. Provides regular coaching and counseling to department employees, identifies training needs, prepares and delivers salary and performance reviews and reviews and approves performance and salary appraisals as necessary.

    Performs all other related duties as assigned.




    Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in related discipline. CFRE certification desirable.


    ·         Ten years of progressively responsible experience in development fund-raising required, with a focus on personal solicitation of large gifts for operational or capital campaigns required. Experience in the conservation, environmental or political field(s) is highly sought after. Verifiable track record of fundraising success required, especially in the upgrading of donors to raise five, six and seven-figure gifts. Demonstrated ability to cultivate, expand, and support a diverse major donor base required.

    ·         Eight years of experience managing teams larger than 10 employees and at least 5 years of senior/executive leadership required.


    ·         Excellent verbal and written communications skills

    ·         Strong interpersonal skills with an aptitude for collaboration and coordination

    ·         Proven strategy development, strategy implementation, and project management skills

    ·         A strong leader with high emotional intelligence, with the ability to assert influence throughout the organization

    Work Expectations:

    Work Environment:

    General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

    Physical Demands:

    This position requires frequent travel, up to 25% of time. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.

    All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

    How to Apply:

    Interested applicants please apply with a cover letter through our jobs portal at http://www.defenders.org/jobs

    About Defenders:

    Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.

    Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.


    It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.



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